On June 15, at the press center of Ukraine Crisis Media Center, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced the criteria for competitive selection of the 25 consolidated communities that will participate in the USAID Decentralization Offering Better Results and Efficiency (DOBRE) Program. Communities in Chernivtsi, Chernihiv and Zaporizhzhia regions are eligible to apply. The application deadline is on July 20, 2020. Participation in the DOBRE Program will help the consolidated communities to efficiently respond to citizens’ priorities by practicing due resource management, improving the quality of utilities, boosting local economy, and increasing civic engagement.
“USAID is Ukraine’s long-time partner in local governance. Over the years, we’ve supported legislative and fiscal decentralization. Most recently, we have worked through DOBRE to help Ukraine’s newly consolidated communities to improve local governance,” said USAID Acting Mission Director Susan Kutor. “Today, USAID has taken 75 consolidated communities in seven oblasts that represent 850,000 residents down this path. Many of these communities have become examples of excellence in local governments in Ukraine. The word has gotten out about the progress that these newly consolidated communities have made. We’ve received numerous requests from other oblasts and other communities to participate in DOBRE activity. And we have heard you. I’m very pleased to announce today that USAID will be providing additional USD 17,000,000 to DOBRE activity to extend our efforts to 25 additional consolidated communities in three new target oblasts – Chernihiv, Chernivtsi, and Zaporizhzhia. This will bring the number of USAID-assisted communities to an even 100, and will increase the number of oblasts, in which DOBRE works, from seven to an even 10. In addition to helping develop additional consolidated communities, DOBRE will begin supporting specific policy development initiatives at the national level. The goal is to make effective decentralization a reality across all of Ukraine,” Susan Kutor proceeded.
In the next two weeks, the DOBRE Program will conduct additional online meetings to inform the representatives of the communities in those three regions.
“Over the next couple of weeks, there will be a series of online presentations to communities in these oblasts to explain both the Program and the specific application process. Communities have to apply to be a member of the DOBRE Program. Applications will be due on July 20,” envisaged Barry J. Reed, DOBRE Program Chief of Party. “It needs to be existing hromada (community – edit.), they need to be in the prospective plan for the oblast and they need to exist as of right now. After the initial application we will review the applications, and then we will develop a shortlist and will do a second round application where we will do interviews in the communities. We will also ask each of those hromada to undertake a task where they involve citizens in some sort of activity. Once we have those results, then we ultimately will select the final 25 communities. We will do it after the local elections,” Barry J. Reed explained.
“The DOBRE Program started out timely in Ukraine – exactly when we were scaling up the decentralization reform. Many international technical assistance programs operate in Ukraine, each one different, having a unique work style. The DOBRE Program chose a very effective form. It not only promotes and supports the decentralization process and other reforms, but also works directly with the communities. By supporting their activities and demonstrating actual achievements of the capable communities, they prove the efficiency of the reform itself. The DOBRE Program results are highly effective. Thanks to the Program, the communities started working in a more systematic fashion and getting better results. That’s our joint achievement,” said Vyacheslav Nehoda, Deputy Minister for the Development of Communities and Territories of Ukraine.
“The DOBRE Program takes up thirty or even forty per cent of our time. I am very happy about that. My team is happy as well. Our people have changed – their outlook expanded. I dialed in from Yelovytski arts center, one of our joint projects with the DOBRE Program. We opened it last year, and this space came to be a huge breakthrough for our youth. I feel proud as I say it. In less than one year after the opening, regardless of the pandemic, we’ve had about 6,000 visitors to our center. That’s one-in-two residents of our community. We have activities for the young and for senior citizens. A lot is happening here thanks to the DOBRE Program that came and charged us up,” said Roman Kaznovetskyi, head of the Lanovetska consolidated community in Ternopil region.
To apply for participation in the DOBRE Program, communities are asked to check the selection requirements and fill out the application form. Click here to download the documents.
Decentralization Offering Better Results and Efficiency (DOBRE) Program is USAID’s five-year program, implemented by international organization Global Communities, and funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The Program is working to enhance good local governance and create improved conditions for the development of consolidated communities (CCs), increase citizen engagement in decision-making, and ensure accountability and transparency in public administration. The DOBRE Program implementing Consortium, led by Global Communities, includes: Ukrainian Crisis Media Center (UCMC); SocialBoost; Foundation in Support of Local Democracy (FSLD/FRDL), Malopolska School of Public Administration at the Krakow University of Economics (MSAP/UEK), Poland; National Democratic Institute (NDI). The USAID DOBRE Program operates in 7 target Oblasts: Dnipropetrovsk, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kharkiv, Kherson, Kirovohrad, Mykolayiv, and Ternopil. Since June 2020, DOBRE Program started operating in three more Oblasts: Zaporizhzhia, Chernivtsi and Chernihiv.